Doctor of Diplomacy (DDipl)


A highlight of our doctoral studies programme is the unique DDipl (Doctor of Diplomacy) degree. It is unique because it is specially designed for working professionals and is taught at a range of venues, often with direct input from senior practitioners. The course brings together best practice in academic learning and professional expertise.

A unique feature of the face-to-face and practical aspect of the course is weekend seminars allowing maximum opportunity for discussion of key issues and flexibility of delivery. The suite of courses includes diplomatic simulations and negotiation exercises, which can also be taken à la carte.

The DDipl consists of two parts. Full-time students can expect to complete the degree in two to four years. The taught part will last two academic years for a full-time student. In their final year (with the option of applying for a one-year extension), PhD candidates will complete a thesis within about one year in which they will reflect on pertinent issues of diplomacy in light of the theory and conceptual knowledge they have gained over the course of their degree as well as independent research.

Most working professionals are likely to choose part-time study for this degree. In this mode, the completion of the DDipl will take proportionately longer, with part 1 being completed within three to four years, and the thesis being completed within two to four years.



Key information

EU Applicants
EU students enrolling for a postgraduate taught degree in the 2017/18 and 2018/19 academic year will be admitted as Scottish/EU fee status students and will be eligible for the same tuition support as Scottish domiciled students.

  • Study methods: Full-time, Part-time
  • Course Director: Professor Holger Nehring
  • Location: Stirling Campus
Download postgraduate prospectus

Professor Holger Nehring

Faculty of Arts and Humanities
University of Stirling

What makes us different?

World-class library and teaching facilities

Studying for a degree means learning in different ways; managing your own time; conducting research; mastering new computer skills. We have the facilities and advice on hand to help you do all this - and do it well.

Learn more

Library shelves

Life at Stirling

Of the many reasons students come to Stirling, such as academic reputation and research standards, one factor is always cited: the outstanding beauty of the University's Stirling campus. View our online films to get a picture of what it's like to live and study on our beautiful campus.

Watch our videos now

Live Life

Entry requirements

Academic requirements

A minimum of a second-class Honours degree or equivalent (2.1 degree or equivalent preferred) in a relevant subject with a minimum of six years professional experience in a relevant context


  • A Masters qualification in a relevant subject with a minimum of three years professional experience in a relevant context (merit degree or equivalent preferred)
  • Applicants without these formal qualifications but with significant appropriate work/life experience are encouraged to apply

English language requirements

If English is not your first language you must have one of the following qualifications as evidence of your English language skills:

  • IELTS: 6.5 with 6.0 minimum in each skill
  • Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE): Grade C
  • Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English (CAE): Grade B
  • Pearson Test of English (Academic): 60 with 56 in each component
  • IBT TOEFL: 90 with no subtest less than 20

For more information go to English language requirements

If you don’t meet the required score you may be able to register for one of our pre-sessional English courses. To register you must hold a conditional offer for your course and have an IELTS score 0.5 or 1.0 below the required standard. View our range of pre-sessional courses.

Flexible Learning

If you are interested in studying a module from this course, the Postgraduate Certificate or the Postgraduate Diploma then please email to discuss your course of study.

Application procedure

To apply, please contact:

Professor Holger NehringFaculty of Arts and Humanities
University of Stirling
+44 (0)1786

Fees and costs




Home/ European Union




Doctor of Diplomacy



Full programme


£5,810 module fee (6 undertaken)


£16,900 Thesis fee

Fees for all new applicants to postgraduate taught courses are held at the level set upon entry.

Please note there is an additional charge should you choose to attend a graduation ceremony. View more information

Cost of Living

Find out about the cost of living for students at Stirling

Payment options

Find information on paying fees by instalments

Scholarships & funding

SAAS Postgraduate Loans

The Student Awards Agency for Scotland (SAAS) is now offering a generous loan scheme to assist eligible Scottish and EU-domiciled students pursuing a Masters at the University of Stirling during 2018/19. Find out more about SAAS Postgraduate Loans

Scholarship finder

Structure and teaching

Structure and content

Common to all professional doctorates is the completion of an original piece of research. The research is presented as a thesis (or as part of a thesis) which is examined by an expert in the chosen field. Usually the research project would relate to real life issues concerned with professional practice. In many cases research is carried out within the student’s own organisation.

Most professional doctorates include a substantial taught or directed study element, which is formally assessed and could also be taken à la carte by those who wish to acquire specific skills. These components frequently include both the teaching of research methods, and also components related to broadening or deepening the students' understanding of the disciplines in which they are researching. They can also provide students with appropriate transferable skills to enhance their professional practice. Students take three core modules at level 11 in research methods, face-to-face-inquiry-methods and diplomatic negotiation and choose three from a list of elective modules, ranging from diplomatic history to new media and communication for diplomats.

Delivery and assessment

Modules will be delivered flexibly in weekend seminars. These require a significant amount of independent preparation and study. The modules are assessed through both an essay on selected case studies, as well as brief policy papers or blogs that apply concepts and theories to real-life scenarios.


•(1) DIPPPRM: Research methods (core) (40 credits, Level 11)
•(2) DIPPPFF:  Diplomatic Communication (core) (40 credits, Level 11)
•(3) DIPPPDN: Diplomatic negotiation (core) (40 credits, Level 11)

and at least three elective modules (E) (40 credits each at level 12) from:

DIPPPDH: Diplomatic history: its role and relevance to today’s issues
•DIPPPGP: Global problems in national or international settings (did not run in 2016/17)
DIPPPIE: International political economy
DIPPPNM: New media and communication for diplomats

Doctor of Diplomacy candidates will produce a thesis of 40,000-60,000 words (maximum)

The thesis will be expected to make an original contribution to knowledge and will be judged by the convincing evidence it offers of competent and independent scholarship and research, wide and critical reading, and an ability to relate academic knowledge to professional interests. A student must submit the thesis for examination within the maximum period of study and shall undergo an oral examination on the thesis and related topics. A candidate may submit only once a revised thesis for examination.

This listing is based on the current curriculum and changes may be made to the course in response to new curriculum developments and innovations. The module information is currently linking to the 2016/17 module listing and the information for 2017/18 will be made available on 21st April 2017. 


Modes of study

Full-time and part-time

Why Stirling?


In REF2014 Stirling was placed 6th in Scotland and 45th in the UK with almost three quarters of research activity rated either world-leading or internationally excellent.

International Students

The University of Stirling welcomes students from around the world. Find out what studying here could be like for you .


This is the first professional doctorate in diplomacy in Europe. It is taught and delivered by number of leading academics and practitioners in a range from fields, from history and politics over law to business and management.

  • The only such programme in Europe, if not the world.
  • Uniquely combines academic rigour with the demands of diplomacy in practice.
  • Flexibility: modules can be taken on a bespoke basis, and timing is such that it allows students to combine the degree with a busy international career.
  • Direct involvement of senior diplomats and businessmen.

Our staff

Holger Nehring received his training in contemporary history, political science, and philosophy at Tübingen University (Germany), the London School of Economics, and (as a Rhodes scholar) at University College, Oxford. Before joining the Stirling History Department in September 2013, he was based at St. Peter's College, Oxford, as a junior research fellow and, from March 2006 to August 2013, in various positions at the University of Sheffield.

Holger Nehring has held a number of visiting research fellowships at universities in Europe and north America: at the Forum for Contemporary History, Oslo and the Norwegian Nobel Institute (2007 and 2008); at the Mershon Center for International Security Studies, Columbus, OH, USA (2009); at the Hamburg Institute for Social Research (2009); at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (EHESS), Paris (as professeur invité in 2010); at the History Department at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, USA (2012).

Careers and employability

Career opportunities

Successful completion of the course leads to careers in:

  • diplomacy
  • international organisations
  • international non-governmental organisations
  • international business
  • finance
  • commerce and industry


98% of our postgraduate leavers are in employment or further study withing six months of graduating - Destination of Leavers from Higher Education survey 2015/16
© University of Stirling FK9 4LA Scotland UK • Telephone +44 1786 473171 • Scottish Charity No SC011159
Portal Logon